May 2020 BIG Meeting: Connecting Berkeley to Europe

Connecting Berkeley to Europe

Experts at the Institute of European Studies will provide an overview of UC Berkeley's activity in Europe and their strategy for future cooperation

Event Details

May 4, 2020 | 12:30-1:30pm |  Zoom


  • Jeroen Dewulf, Director, Institute of European Studies (IES)
  • Dr. Akasemi Newsome, Associate Director, IES
  • Dr. Julia Nelsen, Program Manager, IES
  • Deolinda M. Adão, Executive Director of the European Union Center, IES
  • Gia White, Administrative Director, IES
  • Heike Friedman, Program Officer at the Pacific Regional Office of the German Historical Institute Washington DC


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About the Institute of European Studies

A federally funded Title VI National Resource Center and Jean Monnet Center of Excellence, the Institute of European Studies (IES) is the hub for interdisciplinary research and education on Europe and transatlantic relations on the UC Berkeley campus. IES staff will give an overview of the Institute’s public programming, outreach activities, international partnerships, and grants for students and faculty. We will also discuss current challenges and future opportunities to share knowledge and build cooperation between Berkeley and Europe.

IES mission:

  • to support innovative research and teaching on Europe’s politics, economics, history, and culture

  • to foster dialogue between scholars, practitioners, policymakers, and the public

  • to promote academic and cultural ties with European partners

  • to train the next generation of global leaders

About the Presenters 

Jeroen Dewulf is Professor in the Department of German, Queen Beatrix Professor in Dutch Studies, and Director of the Institute of European Studies. He currently also serves as interim director of UC Berkeley’s Global, International and Area Studies research cluster. He holds an MA from the University of Porto, Portugal and a PhD in German Literature from the University of Bern, in Switzerland. His research interests are as diverse as Dutch and Portuguese (post)colonial literature and history, transatlantic slave trade, Low Countries studies, Swiss literature and European politics in general. Professor Dewulf has been awarded many distinctions for his teaching and research, including the Hendricks Award in New Netherland Studies (2014), the Louisiana History President’s Memorial Award (2015) and the Clague and Carol Van Slyke Article Prize (2015 and 2016). In 2019, his monograph on the Mardi Gras Indians received the Gold Medal Independent Publishers Book Award and he was distinguished by the Luso-American Foundation for his contributions to the field of Portuguese Studies.

Dr. Akasemi Newsome is Associate Director of the Institute of European Studies (IES) at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Newsome has a decade of experience in corporate communications, policy, philanthropy, research and teaching at businesses and organizations such as Deutsche Telekom, the German Marshall Fund of the US, the Russell Sage Foundation, AFSCME, FAOS at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and the Social Science Research Center of Berlin. She speaks German and has lived and worked in Germany for a number of years. She completed her PhD in Political Science at UC Berkeley in 2015. Over her career, she has secured more than $2 million in grants for research and programs from funders such as the Ford Foundation, the DAAD, the Mellon Foundation, the EU and the US Department of Education. She has published or has forthcoming articles in Comparative Labor Law and Policy Journal, Journal of European Integration, Perspectives on Europe and PS: Political Science and Politics and has a co-edited volume on the EU in Crisis forthcoming from Palgrave MacMillan. 

Dr. Julia Nelsen is Program Manager at the Institute of European Studies, where she coordinates a broad range of cross-disciplinary initiatives and international exchanges. She also serves as Executive Director of the France-Berkeley Fund. Prior to joining IES, Dr. Nelsen taught literature and language courses at Berkeley and organized graduate professional development programs with Beyond Academia and Humanists@Work. In addition to academic research, she has over ten years of experience as a translator, editor, and cultural consultant. She holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley and a Laurea Magistrale (MA) in European Languages and Literatures from the University of Milan, Italy.

Deolinda M. Adão holds a Ph.D. in Luso-Brazilian Languages and Literatures from the University of California, Berkeley. Adão serves as Executive Director of the European Union Center at IES and Program Director for Summer Sessions Study Abroad Program in Portugal. She regularly publishes on topics of women, gender and sexuality focusing among others on female migrants, including her latest book As Herdeiras do Segredo: As Personagens Femininas na Ficção de Ines Pedrosa.

Gia White is the Administrative Director of the Institute of European Studies. She has a degree in Spanish Language and Literature from UC Berkeley. She began her administrative career in Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences in 1989 and later worked for the Department of Anthropology. In 1993, Gia moved to International & Area Studies to work as the manager for the Center for German & European Studies. Working closely with the office of the Dean of International & Area Studies, she was instrumental in successfully clustering different units into the newly formed umbrella organization of the Institute of European Studies. For over 25 years, Gia has participated in the evolution of International & Area Studies on the Berkeley campus, serving on a variety of committees and excelling as a mentor to staff and as a valuable resource for faculty, students and visiting scholars.

Heike Friedman is the Program Officer at the Pacific Regional Office of the German Historical Institute (GHI) Washington DC at the University of California, Berkeley. She holds an M.A. in German literature from the Ruhr-Universität Bochum and has worked as journalist, press officer, and fundraiser before joining the GHI in 2017.